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Thinking Out Loud

Friday, January 13, 2006

Best Case Scenario >> Surgery Was a Success!!

As some of you may know, I have chronic back problems, which had been getting worse and worse over the last year or so. After a battery of tests and exams late in '05, I had back surgery scheduled for Thursday, January 12th -- 9 years and 10 days after my last back surgery (which took place on my 24th birthday).

Amazingly, I'm already back home. In fact, I was released at 7:30 PM on Thursday, literally 12 hours after the surgery was completed that morning.

The surgery and so far recovery have gone incredibly well. The percoset (SP?) I'm on for pain makes me groggy and a little disoriented, but that's better than the flaring pain from the surgery area.

The surgery, a hemi-discectomy/decompression of the L3/L4 and L4/L5 vertebrae, helped relieve pressure on my spinal cord caused by vertebral stenosis -- more or less small bone spurs in the vertebrae that constricted the spinal cord and would cause severe pain and numbness in my hips and legs. The incision was about 3 inches long, and looks pretty nasty, but is much cleaner and more efficient than the last time I had this surgery.

In 1997, the surgery site was closed with eight metal staples -- not very pretty, and it left a really nasty scar. This time, the incision was closed with dissolvable sutures, which will eventually go away on their own. Since the surgery was in the same location, the incision this time around sits almost directly on top of the scar from last time, making for a pretty yucky looking lower back. It's a good thing I gave up my aspirations as a lower back model ages ago.

I'm hoping to be back to a regular (albeit light and restricted) schedule starting the middle of next week...

The real trick is to find a way to use the computer from a reclined position -- most comfortable on my back, but least functional for a computer. Sitting is the worst possible position, since it puts so much strain and pressure on the base of the spine, right at the site of my surgery. Good thing I've got a decent laptop...

Thanks to all the well-wishers out there who sent me words of encouragement or prayed for a successful surgery! I really appreciate the support and thoughtfulness. Things have progressed very well so far and I'm confident I'll have a full and healthy recovery.


  • Excellent news--hope everything keeps going well!

    By Blogger Alfred, at 3:42 PM  

  • Having back surgery sounds, quite simply, scary. I'm glad to hear everything is going well and I hope you're better than ever very soon.

    By Blogger sodaklady, at 9:27 PM  

  • Congratulations on the successful outcome. I hear that back surgery is one of the worst to go through. I wish for you a very speedy and complete recovery.

    By Blogger gamesgrandpa, at 8:52 AM  

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